My love dwellt in a golden hall
With many chambers, gemmed and pearled,
And muraled was each lofty wall
With wonders of the outer world,
And gardens grew with flowers fair
Whose perfume graced the gentle air.
O house divine! And there each day
We walked, and in fragrant bowers
Did rest to hear the fountains play,
And while away he dreaming hours
With sweet embrace and tender gaze:
Such bliss we knew in kinder days.
Now he is gone on errantry,
With mail of steel, and shield and sword,
Upon a stallion tall rode he
To take - my love, my gentle lord! -
The steep path down to shadowed vale
And groves where paths and courage fail.
That way is dark and drear and hard
With peril great for wand'ring knight:
There serpents grim their caverns guard,
And couch their coils on jewels bright,
And cruel enchantress sets her snare
In guise of maiden passing fair.
Unto some dark and dismal keep
beguiled and led by witchery,
Shall my dear lord in dungeon deep
Be bound by chain and iron key?
A prisoner wan and lost to woe,
No more his lady's love to know?
Or shall he, in some foul worm's den
The precious trove of gems behold,
And so may come to yearn again
For jewelled wall and tower of gold,
And to his house upon the hill
Return, where I await him still?
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